October 31, 2020

Mother Gorilla Who Lost Her Firstborn 1 Year Ago Now Cradles Her Month-old Baby

These adorable pictures show a new mother gorilla playing with her newborn baby.

Zookeepers said the pair are doing well after finding her nursing the young ape on Wednesday. Dad Jock was stood nearby during natural birth.

The cheeky tot – born on August 19 – gazed up at its mother with adoring eyes, but not before trying to steal some of her lunch.

Luckily, hungry Kala manages to convince her baby that a cuddle with her and some milk is a much better option than her own snack.

More info: Bristol Zoo

This baby momma welcomed her baby back in August

Image credits: Caters News

“Nine-year-old Kala gave birth naturally, overnight to the infant with dad, Jock, just a few meters away and the rest of the family troop nearby,” Bristol Zoo shared back in August.

“We are all thrilled,” Lynsey Bugg, Curator of Mammals at Bristol Zoo, said about the arrival of the baby. “There is something very special about seeing a new-born baby gorilla, they are such an iconic and charismatic species.”

The gorilla named Kala and her newborn live at the Bristol Zoo

Image credits: Caters News

Apparently, Kala is a very gentle and caring mother

Image credits: Caters News

According to Lynsey, both Kala (who came to the zoo from Germany back in 2018) and her newborn are doing well. “She is being very attentive and taking good care of her baby,” she shared. “It’s very early days but we are cautiously optimistic. The early signs are good and the baby looks to be a good size and is strong.”

“She is being very attentive and taking good care of her baby”

Image credits: Caters News

The pair’s beautiful bond was captured on camera by a zoo photographer when the baby was less than two weeks old, as Kala brought her out to enjoy the sunshine.

Bristol Zoo revealed that nine-year-old Kala gave birth naturally overnight while the father Jock was just a few metres away and the rest of the family troop nearby.

Keepers arrived to find the little gorilla nestling in its mother’s arms.

Curator of Mammals at Bristol Zoo Lynsey Bugg said: ‘We are all thrilled. There is something very special about seeing a newborn baby gorilla, they are such an iconic and charismatic species.’

Sadly, she lost her firstborn last year

Image credits: Caters News

Last September, Kala’s baby died when it was just under a week old.

The baby girl was delivered by emergency caesarean section due to Kala having a low-lying placenta which blocked the birth canal and prevented the baby from being born naturally.

Despite keepers and in-house vets closing the Zoo’s Gorilla House to give the mother and baby time and space to bond, the baby sadly died just a few days after failing to thrive.

Fortunately, Kala’s pregnancy this time around has been much happier, and the new mum and her bundle of joy clearly already enjoy a beautiful bond.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is home to a family of seven western lowland gorillas.

Image credits: Caters News Image credits: Caters News

The baby gorilla joins a troop of six gorillas at the zoo, which are part of a breeding programme to help safeguard the future of western lowland gorillas.

Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered primates from Cameroon, in the west Central Africa region.

Many gorillas in the wild are shot by hunters for the bush meat trade which thrives in towns and cities.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is actively involved in ensuring there is a strong population in human care.

Lowland gorillas, which can weigh up to 400lb as adults and stand 6ft tall, are usually not aggressive – unless disturbed.

The pair are seemingly bonding

Image credits: Caters News

And momma gorilla never leaves her baby’s side

Image credits: Caters News

Western lowland gorillas are now critically endangered. They originate from Cameroon, in the region of West Central Africa. In the wild, many gorillas are shot by hunters who are participating in the bushmeat trade.

Unfortunately, Kala belongs to one of the most critically endangered species

Image credits: Caters News

Therefore, the keepers at Bristol Zoo are ecstatic over the adorable baby who joined the other 6 gorillas at the zoo

Image credits: Caters News

However, the sex of the baby is still unknown. “The baby is definitely looking very strong and healthy and is getting hairier and more alert. Kala continues to hold the baby very close which makes confirming its sex more difficult, but we hope we’ll be able to announce the sex of the little one very soon,” the press release from Bristol Zoo reads.

Apparently, the baby is bonding with other gorillas as well: “The baby’s half-siblings, Afia and Ayana, continue to show great interest in the newest addition to the family troop, which is great news—we are sure the youngster will be a great playmate for them before too long. It’s also a great learning experience for them, showing them the skills they’ll need when they become mums themselves.”

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